“Moog synthesizer (pronounced /ˈmoʊɡ/, mohg; often anglicized to /ˈmuːɡ/, moog) may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Dr. Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, and is commonly used as a generic term for analog and digital music synthesizers.
The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled analog synthesizer systems in the early 1950s. The technological development that led to the creation of the Moog synthesizer was the invention of the transistor, which enabled researchers like Moog to build electronic music systems that were considerably smaller, cheaper and far more reliable than earlier vacuum tube-based systems.
The Moog synthesizer began to gain wider attention in the music industry after it was demonstrated at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. The commercial breakthrough of a Moog recording was made by Wendy Carlos in the 1968 record Switched-On Bach, which became one of the highest-selling classical music recordings of its era. The success of Switched-On Bach sparked a slew of other synthesizer records in the late 1960s to mid 1970s. In 1974 the German electronic group Kraftwerk further popularized the sound of the synthesizer with their landmark album Autobahn, which used several types of synthesizer including a Minimoog. German-based Italian producer-composer Giorgio Moroder helped to shape the development of disco music.
Later Moog modular systems featured improvements, such as a scaled-down, simplified, self-contained musical instrument designed for use in live performance. The Minimoog became the most popular monophonic synthesizer of the 1970s, and it was quickly taken up by leading rock and electronic music groups such as Yes and Tangerine Dream.